The functional resume works well for those making a career change, having a varied work history or with little work experience. A functional resume is also preferred for applications to jobs that require very specific skills or clearly defined personality traits. A functional resume is a good method for highlighting particular skills or experiences, especially when those particular skills or experiences may have derived from a role which was held some time ago. Rather than focus on the length of time that has passed, the functional resume allows the reader to identify those skills quickly.
But most people wait until a resume is needed and it is at this time that a decision is made to try to refine and update it, or leave it as is and hope that it will be sufficient enough to gain a recruiter or hiring manager's attention. There is a misconception that because resumes are rarely mailed out any longer, they are not that important. Yet many online application forms still request that a resume copy be uploaded for review.
Another common misconception is that a resume must be one page in total length. I am not certain I know how that idea became popular or why it has remained so engrained as it ultimately serves little purpose for most candidates and it can work to the detriment of a job seeker. The reason why is that a one page resume, for a person who has fairly extensive experience, can sell them short. This type of resume will either leave off critical information or it will be typed in a font size that is not easy to read.
My approach to resume writing involves the use of a skill set based approach and that means when a recruiter or hiring manager opens the resume they first read skill sets that have been acquired throughout the candidate's career. More importantly, the skill sets listed are directly related to the job or career the candidate is interested in. This can change the entire perspective of the candidate when viewed by a potential employer as now they are viewed beyond the current job they hold. This is an especially helpful approach for anyone who is interested in changing jobs or careers.
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